Watching the third movie in the series, a subconscious fear of non-whites and of non-middle classed people becomes apparent. Upon the knight bus the only black presence is a shrunken black man's head dangling from a string, as if the subconscious felt the need to remove the body, to render it a helpless figure. Even disempowered in this way the black head is relentlessly upbeat as the slaves and "Uncle Tom's" were portrayed. Added to this the "shrunken heads" in the pub, the first non-white presence in the pub bring to mind voodoo stereotypes and such racism. Working class characters are also made degenerate in some way, socially darwinistic views playing out. Stan Shunpike looks as if he has some terrible skin disease, Ernie is of feeble form, and the welcomer at the inn is a hunch back. Filch, the 'working class' representation in Hogwarts is mean, physically unappealing, stupid and his name in British English translates as meaning "sneaky thief." Apparently, normal and safe is middle class white people. I can't bring to mind any significant character that is a non-white or non-middle classed person in a position of respect and power - unless we count Hagrid, who is made less threatening by "virtue" of reduced intelligence and competence. The upper class is feared too, for they are Slytherin, apparently born to become evil, children that are death-eaters in the making. When we look at word associations, "Sirius Black" sounds similar to "serious black," and the word associations with his character all go downhill from there. And in all of this our conundrum is that the author is stoically anti-racist and a public bastion of fairness in society. And so let this be a lesson to all writers, to examine the visual and word associations of their work, puns included, for all of us, even our very best, live in the same poisoned societies.

By Angela Abraham, @daisydescriptionari, February 21, 2020*.